Alec Baldwin Debuts On MSNBC: Did His Hair Steal The Show?
How did Baldwin fare as a talk show host?
Up Late With Alec Baldwin debuted on Friday night on MSNBC and gave viewers a chance to see actor Alec Baldwin in a talkshow role. The differentiate from the scores of other late night shows on offer, Up Late promised viewers something different for a cable news programme in that it would comprise of an hour long talk with a single guest that would be "more conversation than interview, more personal than promotional."
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The first show had a political edge, owing to Baldwin's first guest being New York mayoral candidate, Democrat Bill de Blasio. However, rather than fizzling current affairs debate and a closer look at a man who wants to run NYC, the hour was branded by New York Daily News as "somewhat sleepy."
Describing Baldwin as "a talented talker," TIME admires "The gentle, thoughtful tone of the show [which] may have come to a surprise to viewers who mainly know Baldwin from 30 Rock, Glengarry Glen Ross," likening the model of Baldwin's show to that of seventies late night host, Tom Snyder. However, it was agreed that the "De Blasio interview also suggested some kinks to work out in applying it to politics."
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Many reviewers persisted to focus on the 55 year-old's unusually coiffed grey hair. The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley described Baldwin's look as "a little impish - a few spikes of hair above his forehead were twisted with gel into tiny devils' horns," whilst Deadline said his "serious side" was "offset only by his jauntily moussed hair." Whereas TIME said the host has "hair spiked into a kind of Statue of Liberty corona."
Whilst it's funny to laugh at Baldwin's 'do, it also shows a wider failure on the show's behalf that viewers were so distracted by his hairstyle - or so bored that it was the only thing that caught their attention - that it became the main focus of the evening.
A Touch Of Tedium & Some Oddly Styled Hair May Have Lulled Viewers Into Boredom.
Looking ahead, The New Republic has "higher hopes" for the show's future, if only its host would "just learn to loosen up." Whereas TIME hope that Baldwin "can find [a] balance and [...] encourage other cable shows to experiment with dialing down their metabolism and letting a conversation run for a while."
It would be some achievement to hit full marks in a premiere show but unless things get spiced up a bit, without losing Baldwin's undeniable integrity, viewers will drop off - in every sense of the phrase.